In addition to our weekly e-newsletter, we also have a monthly newsletter for kids and the adults who craft with them. It’s a great source of ideas and inspiration for kids, teens, parents, girl- and boy scout leaders, camp counselors, teachers, and more. BK4K (By Kids for Kids) features knit, crochet, and craft patterns that are all beginner or easy-level.
In this past month’s issue, we were inspired by the great summer weather. We featured the Super Summer Backpack (shown above), an adorable Posy Belt, and matching Flip-Flops. Easy and fun, these projects are a great way to practice various knit and crochet stitches. They are also stylish items for the beach, amusement park, or just hanging out with friends.
News Knitter takes information that is collected from daily political news in any 24 hour period and turns it into a sweater by sending the data to a computerized knitting machine. The project uses knitting to help visualize large amounts of information.
The YarnCraft podcast is a half-hour radio show in which my co-host Liz and I share pattern recommendations, crafting ideas, stories, and interviews on all things knitting, crocheting, loom-knitting, crafting and more. Every two weeks, we come to you from the Lion Brand Design Center in New York with a new episode, but you can download and listen to each episode anytime you want from the YarnCraft blog.
In episode #18, “Knitting & Crocheting on the Go”, our Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life segment concentrated on washcloths and dishcloths–those easy-to-make, travel-friendly projects that never go out of style. Listen to the episode [mp3] for pattern recommendations, and in the meantime, here are just a few tips:
Before working at Lion Brand, I only had limited experiences with handknit items. A friend of mine knit me a beautiful ribbed red scarf when I was in college, (It wasn’t until working at Lion Brand that I realized that the yarn used was Wool-Ease Thick & Quick) and later in college, my girlfriend knit me a scarf with Homespun. I kept thinking about how beautiful and amazing hand-knit pieces were, but could never wrap my head around the idea that two long cylindrical objects (needles) could take a piece of yarn and create something wearable. It was a task that I considered far too difficult for my clumsy, maladroit hands.
Not two weeks into working at Lion Brand, however, I noticed the incredible knitting and crocheting culture here. From Zontee (of the YarnCraft podcast) to Jackie and Karen (of the Design Department), I had a number of people telling me that knitting wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought. So one day after work, I sat down with Zontee and was ready to learn. She taught me how to cast on and how to knit. That night I knit a number of rows, and came back to work ready for something new.
After work that next day, Zontee was ready to teach me how to purl. A few rows later, I was knitting a stockinette stitch, and was excited to start my first real project. Looking for a fairly simple project that could help me hone my newly found knitting and purling abilities, the people in our Design Department found a great, easy 2 and 1/2 Hour Scarf for me to complete. This would be a little bit more complex, and used three strands weaved in as one, but was an exciting first project. The first day I was ready to choose my yarn. With the expertise of our creative director, Karen, I picked out three beautiful colors of Vanna’s Choice, and I was ready to go. Once again, Zontee helped me cast on and watched me knit my first few rows.
For the next few days, I could be found at home, on the train and after work working on this scarf. This was during NFL playoffs as well, so I was knitting while watching the Giants play – something that I would have never anticipated. The first few rows started off a little shaky (as you can see on the left side of the scarf), but after that, it was four and a half feet of pretty smooth sailing. When I got into trouble toward the end, Zontee also helped me to fix a stitch I’d dropped.
Truthfully, it was fun, exciting and really not as hard as I’d originally imagined. Though the “2 and 1/2 hour” label given to me probably did not take into account the fact that I had knitting growing pains, it still was a fairly quick project to do. With a little bit of help from everyone here, I now have a scarf that I’m proud to say I knit! I’ll admit though, it’s easier to knit a beautiful scarf when you’re surrounded by fantastic knitters.
Having completed a full repeat of each of patterns (Twin Trees, Dividing Rows, and Flower Garden), the afghan gets easier and easier.
Even though I still had to follow the pattern chart for the Twin Trees, I found that my work pace got really fast, and I didn’t feel like I had to worry or pay such close attention anymore. And just in time for some perfect New York weather too!
So far, I’ve knitted on my roof, at my sunday morning knitting club while sipping coffee, and I even took the afghan and got in a few rows at a BBQ in a friend’s back yard. I love to be able to spend time with friends and get out of the house, while still being productive; and of course the response to the impressive looking afghan is unbelievable. Everyone wants to work on it, and learn the stitches.
Tonight, curled up on my couch with my three cats, watching North By Northwest (my favorite Hitchcock film) I’m just about to bind off, after the final Twin Trees repeat. I don’t know if there is anything more gratifying than, cozying up under a project that you’re still working on. Once I bind off, all that will be left to do is the border edge, which I’m really looking forward too.
With the 4th of July on the horizon, it seems appropriate to talk about America’s favorite pastime (other than knitting and crochet, of course).
Combining two great traditions, the National NeedleArts Association’s Stitch N’ Pitch series is all about taking your knitting, crocheting and other needle arts out to baseball games all around the U.S. and Canada. Meet other yarncrafters and work on your latest project, while cheering on your favorite team. It’s a great activity for the whole family! Check their website for more upcoming dates and to purchase tickets.
July 9 – Milwaukee Brewers
July 10 – Cleveland Indians
July 13 – Pittsburgh Pirates
July 19 – Baltimore Orioles
July 19 – Cincinnati Reds
July 20 – Minnesota Twins
July 22 – San Francisco Giants
August 5 – Philadelphia Phillies
August 5 – Toronto Blue Jays
August 6 – Chicago White Sox
August 7 – Seattle Mariners
August 9 – Colorado Rockies
August 10 – Detroit Tigers
August 24 – Arizona Diamondbacks
September 7 – Kansas City Royals
September 14 – Oakland Athletics
September 14 – Los Angeles Angels
September 25 – New York Mets
For more yarn-related events throughout the year, check out our Events Calendar.
We were recently contacted by a blogger from Spain named Ariel, who authored a post about how to knit (como tejer in Spanish) over 2 years ago. Since he thought our own learn-to-knit instructions were very useful, he linked back to our website as a graphical resource that he found and used for these instructions, which are also available in Spanish.
All the content on LionBrand.com is provided to help you to grow as a crafter, whether that entails learning new stitches from the StitchFinder, discover more with YarnCraft, or connect with our Notebook. The great thing about the internet is that it is vast, yet completely interconnected – if you find something of ours that is useful, feel free to link to it and share with your friends or family! I hope you’re enjoying this journey as much as we are!